I was skeptically ecstatic when the Smashing Pumpkins reformed* and I heard they were working on a new album. Being my all-time favorite band** is an important spot to hold and I worried for a hott second that what they produced would not live up to my expectations.
And then I heard "Tarantula" and I knew things would be okay. Maybe you're not a fan, but I think the song kicks ass and it kept me satisfied until the full album came out. I was disappointed to once again miss the Smashing Pumpkins at the 930 Club. They played there in support of Adore, but for some reason, I was not there and then, once again, for this album my presence was not in the Billy Corgan vicinity.
Luckily, the band announced a ton more dates and Serena and I jumped all over them. Without getting into the crappy existence of reality, Serena ended up not being able to go:( She was with us in spirit, though, and we'll be seeing them again as soon as they're back on the East Coast.
The show was really good. I'm not sure how to compare it to the other two times I have seen them, but it was good. I always hate reviews of the SP's shows because the reviewer inevitably remarks on Billy Corgans voice and complains that it is too "nasily," which is beyond ridiculous. His voice is what makes the band what it is.
Ali and I had a good time in Philadelphia before getting to the venue. We hit up South Street, saw the Rocky steps, and got cheesesteaks from Pat's***. I've been to Philly quite a few times before, but this was Ali's first real time there****. The Tower was nice, although a little weird. It was a real theatre with stadium seating and no jumbo-tron monitors. Getting my mind off the aesthetics, though, was the awesome surprise that was the opening band: Explosions In The Sky! I had been wanting to see them for some time now and was beyond pleasantly surprised when they stepped on staged and introduced themselves. They played a good set and I was proud of the audience for accepting an instrumental band.
At about 9pm the Smashing Pumpkins took the stage and started with one of their newer songs before hitting on many of my older favorites including: Starla, Hummer, To Sheila, and Rocket (Set List To Below). They played something like 20 songs, which really surprised me. It was a long show, and we got a good encore of Heavy Metal Machine, which I have always liked. I also enjoyed the Joan Jett tribute of I Love Rock And Roll even though I realized I don't really know the words to that song.
One of my favorite moments of the show was leaning over to Ali during one of the Siamese Dream songs and remarking on how those songs are over 15 years old. She commented that I am old in response and we went back to enjoying the ancient songs of yore.
It was a good show and well worth the dinero and lack of sleep it took to get there and back. The only thing that would have made it better was if Serena had been able to go, but really, we'll be there front and center the next time they are anywhere close to town.
Anyway, here is the setlist:
Main Set :
Where Boys Fear to Tread
Bleeding the Orchid
Glass + The Ghost Children
That's the Way (My Love Is)
(w/ Lisa)1979 (acoustic)
Bring the Light
Heavy Metal Machine
> On the Road Again [Canned Heat] (tease)
> I Love Rock N' Roll [Joan Jett] (tease)
<3,>*Shut it. Billy Corgan is the Smashing Pumpkins so don't even bring up James Iha or D'Arcy. Yes, he rules (she does not), but the Smashing Pumpkins=Billy Corgan.
**Tied with Muse and Radiohead. Please, let me have a 3-way tie or my head will explode.
****We saw Billy Corgan at the Electric Factory on his solo tour a couple years ago, but that was the time it took seven hours to get there and we didn't have time to do anything else.